It’s important for you to know that HIPAA compliance covers the cybersecurity measures necessary for EVV. That information is straight from an email issued by ANCOR, which cites the EVV legislation as its source, along with Tim Hill, the Director of CMCS.
Last year, as a service to our members, OPRA partnered with MyHIPAA Guide to spearhead the development of a HIPAA compliance program for the residential sector. This is the only program of its kind available for residential providers.
The program includes all the materials you need for compliance, plus an option for unlimited phone and email consultation to help you through the process of protecting of private health information.
With EVV right around the corner, we are offering a $100 discount off the price of an annual subscription with the coupon code: OPRA2018.
Go to hipaa.opra.org to subscribe.
At the recent annual conference of the Association of Professional Developmental Disability Administrators (APDDA), we had the pleasure of hearing from administrators from facilities in Corpus Christi and San Antonio, Texas and Miami, Florida who spoke about their experiences preparing for and recovering from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma last fall. Part of building an emergency preparedness plan includes making provisions to meet the needs of residents with disabilities in the event of an evacuation.
But! Even in an emergency preparedness plan, a resident’s health information is still protected by the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
Check it out! The Department of Health and Human Services offers a great interactive tool, The HIPAA Privacy Decision Tool, that through a series of questions helps you determine how the HIPAA Privacy Rule would apply in specific emergency situations (it’s available as a flowchart, too!). Other emergency preparedness resources are also available through the HHS site.
Key Point: If you don’t document it, you can’t prove you have followed privacy regulations — meaning you could face penalties. Security policies and procedures are mandated under the Health Information Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the regs are very specific about the policies and procedures you need to implement.
Through your documentation of policies and procedures, specify the security measures you have in place and the procedures you have for ensuring daily vigilance.
Keep in mind: Document everything, including all assessments, precautions, procedures, actions, findings, and processes covered under HIPAA requirements. Organize your compliance documentation in central locations, so both paper and electronic records can be easily referenced.
Ask yourself if you are keeping records of:
- Procedures for distributing privacy notices (which should include instructions on how to file complaints and report security concerns)
- Security policies and procedures (including written records of required actions, activities, or assessments)
- Complaint resolutions
- Updates to policies and procedures
- Sanctions against workforce members relating to privacy or security issues
- Staff training
- Business Associate Agreements
Be sure to keep privacy records for six years from creation of a document, or the last effective date. Also, periodically review and update documentation in response to changing conditions — such as a move to a new location — that impact the security of private health information.
Note to readers: See the right rail of hipaa.opra.org for HIPAA documentation and consultation services tailored for residential services providers.
Since federal privacy rules require lots of documentation, a frequently asked question is: How long do we have to keep all the documents that accumulate as a result of compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)?
The answer: Six years — and that means six years after the date of a document’s creation or it’s most recent effective date.
Keep in mind, all HIPAA-related activities must be documented. This includes privacy policies and procedures, privacy notices, resolution of complaints, staff training, business associate agreements and all else pertaining to privacy protections.